THE EARLY YEARS
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Meher Baba was born Merwan Sheriar Irani on 26th
February 1894 in the city of Poona ( Pune ), British India. His surname indicated
that the family was 'from Iran'.
Merwan had 8 siblings ; Jamshed, Jal, Beheram, Manija & Adi.
( 3 died in childhood - Freni, Shirmand & Jehangir).
The family was of the Zoroastrian faith ( an ancient faith that originated in Persia, now Iran ) founded by Zoroaster.
To see more details of Meher Baba's family, click on the following link.
SHERIAR M. IRANI SHIREEN D. IRANI MERWAN S. IRANI
Merwan's younger years were not out of the ordinary, although he had a keen interest in poetry and literature - from Shakespeare to the Persian Perfect Master Hafiz. He was very adept at sports whilst attending a Roman Catholic high school. He went onto to attend Deccan College.
He led a normal childhood and showed no particular inclination toward spiritual matters.
This webpage will show the various homes, cafes & schools that Merwan Irani
( Meher Baba ) lived in & attended including his important meetings with Perfect Master Babajan and the other 4 Perfect Masters.
Later, his 7 years stay and guidance with Perfect Master Upasni Maharaj.
The 5 Perfect Masters of the Early 1900s
All images colourized by Anthony Zois.
POONA ( PUNE )
The Peshwars were the local rulers in the early 1800s who were later defeated by the British in Kirkee, north of Pune. The area was placed under the administration of the Bombay Presidency and the British built a large military cantonment to the east of the city in 1895.
Poona Municipality was established in 1858 & the railway line from Bombay to the city opened in the same year, run by the Great Indian Peninsula Railway (GIPR).
A special thank you for the assistance of Debbie & Peter Nordeen and also Laurel & Glenn Magrini with some map information.
DAVID SASSOON GENERAL HOSPITAL
Merwan Sheriar Irani was born on 26th February 1894
at the Sassoon Hospital about 5 am Sunday morning.
Shireen, Merwan's mother had her mother Golandoon was by her side during the
Shireen's labor pains started and a Catholic nun was summoned from her morning prayers. Golandoon sat near her daughter, watching anxiously. Sheriar waited outside the hospital room, continuously repeating God's name.
The hospital's night watchman made his rounds. As he struck the gong five times, the crying of a baby was heard. The birds increased their joyous notes as if to welcome the child, and even the sun seemed excited — eager to rise over the horizon.
Golandoon emerged from the room. "Sheriar, it's a boy!" she exclaimed, beaming. "You have another son!" Sheriar was filled with happiness and immediately rushed into the room to see his newborn child.
|Lord Meher Online Edition Page 108|
The relatives and neighbors soon came to the hospital to see the newborn child. They were overjoyed and admired the baby's beauty. "A full moon has arisen in Sheriar's house!" one person remarked. The joy that abounded in the hearts of all who saw the child was indeed most extraordinary, for the joy of that sacred day will last for ages to come. The atmosphere was filled with a wonderful freshness and spontaneity of goodness; and only Sheriar knew that the source of it was his child.
MEHER BABA LANE, PUNE
The exact details and dates of where the family resided when their second child was born and during his childhood are not known. But some believe Sheriar and Shireen were residing at the time at 816 Butler Mohalla (locality) in Poona. The house was called Bhopla
MERWAN IRANI'S 1ST HOME "PUMPKIN HOUSE"
Postal address : 816 Dastur Meher Road, Meher Mohalla Camp, Pune 411101
With the infant in her arms, Shireen returned home in a tonga ( horse-drawn carriage ).
The news of Shireen's newborn son spread throughout the neighborhood, and those who went to see the infant came away wonderfully contented. When their eyes gazed upon the infant, they felt peaceful and forgot their cares and woes.
The child was given the Persian name Merwan, but his family always called him Merog. Shireen loved Merwan intensely and thought of him as her firstborn. The infant nursed well and the bond between mother and son was strong.
** Merwan was the 2nd born child to Shireen & Sheriar.
On 2 January 1893, Shireen, at the age of fifteen, gave birth to a son who was named Jamshed after a Persian king . However, as she was too young to fully accept the responsibilities of motherhood, her older sister, Dowla, began caring for the baby.
Dowla and her husband, Faredoon Naoroj Irani, were childless and lived in the resort town of Lonavla not far from Poona, where they owned a restaurant near the railway station. As was the common custom among Zoroastrian relatives, Dowla and Faredoon accepted complete responsibility for the child and raised Jamshed as their own son.
Jamshed later in life married Khorshed R. Irani. They had no children of their own.
QUARTER GATE SQUARE, POONA
BABA'S HOUSE, PUNE
Postal address : 765 Dastur Meher Road, Meher Mohalla Camp, Pune 411101
THE LOCAL PARSI AGIARY / TEMPLE
Merwan's sister Freni Sheriar Irani is born. She died aged 6 years old in 1905.
Merwan's brother Shirmand Sheriar Irani is born but only lives for 7 months, dying in 1898.
Merwan Irani aged 5 attends Pudumjee Gujarati School, Poona for 3 years.
Merwan's brother Jehangir Sheriar Irani is born. He only lives for 2 years and dies in 1902.
1902 ; Sept.1st.
Merwan aged 8½ attends Sardar Khan Dastur Noshirwan Zoroastrian School, Poona.
1902 ; September 15th
Merwan's brother Jal Sheriar Irani is born. He lives for 79 years, passing away on 21st Feb.1982 in Poona.
1903 ; 31st August attends for 5½ years at this school.
POONA CAMP GOVT. ENGLISH SCHOOL, later became
ANGLO-URDU HIGH SCHOOL
1908 - 20th June
Merwan's brother Beheram Sheriar Irani is born. He lives till 30th June 1974 in Poona ( 66 years old ).
1909 - January
ST. VINCENT'S HIGH SCHOOL
When Merwan first went to St. Vincent's High School he was 14 years and 11 months old on 4th January 1909.
He attends to this school for almost 3 years, leaving late 1911 for Deccan College after passing his entrance exams.
December 1911 to Mid-1913
When Merwan first attended Deccan College, he was 17 years and 9 months old in December 1911.
Merwan meets Babajan
BUND GARDENS & MUTHA MULA RIVER
1917 - '18